Getting Creative

It’s the middle of the summer and the kids are, of course, still home from school.  And I’m still flying solo as a parent during the week since we haven’t found a house yet.  Being a stay-at-home-parent to three little ones can make marathon training rather difficult, but we are managing to get it done.  I’ve had to get creative in setting up my training schedule and getting my workouts in since I don’t have a lunch break to pull it off, and I can’t leave them alone for a 90 minute long run.  If you are a single (or quasi-single parent) then there are a few options for marathon training while the kids are home from school:

  1. Send the kids to daycare, camp, grandma’s, etc.
  2. Have a workout swap with other parents & trade baby sitting while the other runs.
  3. Use a treadmill.
  4. Get a gym membership that has child care.

These are all great ideas that I’ve been recommended by others and have read in countless articles.  But sometimes these options just don’t work for all of us.  I can’t afford regular daycare, my other running buddies work or don’t have children, and my family lives too far away to watch my kids on any type of regular basis.  I also have no place in my home to put a treadmill and I don’t live near a gym that offers childcare.  So what’s a mom to do?!

First, get a calendar.  I printed off blank calendars and marked off the days I knew I had coverage.  Next, get flexible.  My training schedule looks a lot different than the standard ones you’ll find on the Internet. I had to rearrange some runs, combine some workouts, and create whole new ones around my sparse schedule.  Lastly, get everyone involved.  My husband is aware of my training and so are my kids.  We work together to make sure that the training gets in.  That means he makes breakfasts on weekend mornings, and the kids work up a sweat with me during the week.  During the week I make use of workout videos and do speed-work and calisthenic drills in the backyard.

Sometimes my runs can look a little funny:


Basically, I run when I can, I try not to get too bummed out when I can’t, and I stay willing to adapt as I go along so that I can keep myself moving. I know Summer won’t last forever and the school bus will be arriving just as my plan calls for longer runs.  Honestly, I’m enjoying the break with the kids!


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